Smart TV sitting on stand in hardwood living room with plant to the left

Before you go out and spend thousands on a new TV, learn how to turn your existing model into a smart TV. Using what you’ve got at home, or investing in a couple of key pieces, can save you a lot of money that you can put towards other things.

Smart TV Explained

Smart TV Explained

A Smart TV’s internet connection essentially turns your TV into a computer, with full web-browsing capability. In addition, it has built-in media-streaming technology that enables a wide variety of online entertainment options. You can also turn your existing TV into a Smart TV by hooking it up to a separate device that can stream media and is connected to the Internet.

Smart TVs are great for families, because anyone and everyone can watch movies through online media services; listen to music, play online games or access apps—all from the comfort of your living room. You can find apps for social media sites, travel, shopping, budgeting, fitness and much more. Smart TVs also come with PVR functionality, allowing you to schedule and record shows without using a separate device. And most models will let you plug in your smartphone to share pictures and videos on the big screen.

Budget-Friendly Smart TV Options

Budget-Friendly Smart TV Options

The most cost-effective way to bring Smart TV to your home is to convert your current TV. If you have a newer flat screen model in the house, you should be able to turn it into a Smart TV. All you’ll need is another device in the house that has an operating system (OS) and Internet access.

Most homes have either a laptop computer or gaming console: both will work just fine. Now simply connect your device to your TV and power up. Voilà, you’ve just transformed your TV into a smart TV. If you don’t have either of these devices you can purchase a media player, which is a small set-top device that connects easily to your TV.

Black laptop with Windows 10 home screen displayedLaptops

If performance is your thing, you can’t beat a laptop for streaming media. Granted, laptops are expensive compared to other streaming media devices, but if you already have a laptop your only extra cost is a connector cable. Power consumption can be on the high side, and some laptop noise may be picked up and amplified by your TV.

Black Xbox One with black controller resting on itGame consoles

An Internet-connected game console can also easily convert your TV into a Smart TV. Most of the top brands include browsers for surfing the Web. Many game consoles also support online media services, making them ideal for watching movies and listening to music.

Black Google ChromecastMedia players

Media players are streaming devices specifically designed to turn your TV into a smart TV. They come in many different configurations and offer a wide range of features, but all media players offer at least some of the popular online media services like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and iTunes.

If you already have some favourite media services, make sure the media player you buy supports them. Also, if you plan to surf the Web on your smart TV, choose a media player that has an Internet browser.

Legal: This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.

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